I recently had the privilege of attending a Security and Defense summit in South Carolina hosted by the Citadel. The gathering pulled in members and leaders from every branch of military and government. For many, it was a chance to voice their concerns off the record. Sadly, most panels and discussions demonstrated one disturbing and re-occurrent theme – America is losing.
We are not the only generation of Americans to face overwhelming odds. In 1777, the American Colonial bid for independence teetered on failure. At Valley Forge, Washington’s army dangled by a thread; diplomatic relations between the French and colonists had stalled; and elsewhere, the Continental Army experienced strategic losses including the British occupation of Philadelphia – America’s largest city.
The hope of freedom was fading. Within the Continental Congress, some leaders began resigning the cause to fate. What turned the table on hopelessness?
While Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia and Egypt remain faltering democracies, no nation’s declension is more alarming than Turkey’s – a key Western ally that has enjoyed stability for more than five decades. In 2013, Turkey’s internal struggles made international headlines when hundreds of thousands of citizens gathered in the nation’s largest cities to protest against Erdoğan’s impingements on everything from freedom of the press to freedom of assembly. But the crackdown was not confined to the political realm.
Today, most of federal agencies have fortified, barricaded, and closed off to the public – the public they exist to serve. Have you ever tried walking into the Department of Commerce, the Department of Health and Human Services or some other federal agency? Don’t bother… you’ll hardly get a foot through the door. Why? Because government has forgotten it depends on the people for survival. There was once a time when it meant something to be a “U.S. tax payer.”